Laws and regulations

  • MIT expert: “toxic” political discussions limit climate response

    In a talk at the Sandia National Lab, an MIT expert says the inability of natural and social scientists to convince political leaders that “we’re spinning a roulette wheel over climate change” puts humanity at “extreme risk,” and that the difficulties in using science to push for mitigation strategies are more political than scientific

  • Industry fights Pentagon efforts to restrict exporting of infrared products

    The global market for infrared technology products will be worth about $2.6 billion dollars by 2017; the technology can be used for commercial products such as automotive, surveillance, and security industries – and is heavily used by the military; three major U.S. infrared equipment makers fight the Pentagon’s efforts to restrict exports of devices based on the technology for fear these devices may enhance the military capabilities of adversaries of the United States

  • Yankee Stadium awarded SAFETY Act designation

    The SAFETY Act designation has been given to many defense and security companies since DHS started awarding it in 2004, but Yankee Stadium is the first sports arena to become immune to general lawsuits which could be filed by victims of future terrorist attacks

  • Court: Kentucky can continue to credit God for homeland security

    The Kentucky Supreme Court has declined to hear a challenge to a state law that mandated that the commonwealth give credit to God for Kentucky’s homeland security; the Court let stand a 2011 Kentucky Court of Appeals ruling which found that a 2006 law, requiring the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security to publicize dependence on “Almighty God” in agency training and educational materials, did not violate the establishment clause in the Constitutional

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  • U.S. wind power market riding a wave which is likely to crest in 2012

    Facing looming policy uncertainty beyond 2012, the United States remained one of the fastest-growing wind power markets in the world in 2011 — second only to China; the expiration of key federal incentives could bring that wave crashing down in 2013, , despite a significant decline in the cost of wind energy

  • Obama considering executive order for infrastructure protection

    President Barack Obama is exploring whether to issue an executive order to protect the U.S. critical computer infrastructure from cyber attacks; White House sources say an executive order is being considered after a 2 August procedural vote in the Senate that all but doomed a scyberecurity bill endorsed by Obama as well as current and former national security officials from both Republican and Democratic administrations

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  • NIST ballistic standard tie Guns to criminals and crime scenes

    Nearly 200,000 cartridge cases are recovered annually at U.S. crime scenes; thanks to a new reference standard developed by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), law enforcement agencies will have an easier time linking these cartridge cases to specific firearms

  • USDA’s proposed chicken safety inspection policy could mean trouble for consumers

    The federal government has come up with a new proposal to examine chickens for contaminates and diseases, and the proposal has some people concerned and others outright scared; the proposal would reduce the number USDA food safety inspectors at poultry plants from four to one – and rely on plant’s employees to do safety inspections instead

  • Drones used by police, firefighters raise privacy concerns

    DHS is accelerating the use of unmanned drones by police and firefighters around the country with the intent of detecting fires, radiation leaks, and other potential threats, but Congress and privacy advocacy organizations think the se of drones raises several privacy issues

  • Obama’s sweeping immigration initiative goes into effect next week

    On 15 August 2012 a sweeping new immigration initiative, the most significant easing of immigration policy since President Ronald Reagan granted amnesty to an estimated three million people in 1986, goes into effect; it would defer deportation action against, and grant a work permit to, illegal immigrants who meet certain criteria

  • Critics charge Obama initiative is amnesty by executive order

    Critics of the Obama administration’s immigration order charge that the administration is”legislating by executive edict”; they say that the Obama administration is set, in effect, to begin implementing the DREAM Act amnesty on 15 August, even though the legislation was defeated by Congress as recently as December 2010

  • Critics charge DHS chemical plant security program a failure

    In 2006 Congress passed the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards program, or CFATS, which set security standards chemical plants had to meet; there are 4,400 chemical plants covered by CFATS, of which 120 are considered especially dangerous, as a chemical release– accidental or as a result of a terrorist act — in any one of them would cause hundreds of thousands of casualties; after four-and-half years and $480 millions spent on CFATS, not a single plant of the 4,400 had been fully inspected; of the 120 riskiest plants, 11 had a preliminary inspection done; not a single site security plan has been approved

  • Under industry pressure, DHS drops chemical plant employee screening proposal

    Security experts agree that short of a nuclear attack on a U.S. city, the most casualty-heavy disaster would occur as a result of an accident in, or a terrorist attack on, a chemical plant which would release a cloud of toxic fumes; there are about 15,000 plants in the United States which produce, process, use, or store volatile and toxic chemicals; more than 300 of the these plants are so close to large population centers, that a chemical release in any one of them would cause more than 50,000 casualties; DHS wanted to have employees in these plants screened for potential ties terrorism, but the chemical industry objected, saying this would be too costly; last Thursday DHS pulled the proposal

  • Measuring DHS effectiveness monitoring chemical plant safety standards

    The events of 9/11 triggered a national re-examination of the security of facilities that use or store hazardous chemicals in quantities which, in the event of a terrorist attack, could put large numbers of Americans at risk of serious injury or death; the GAO issued a report on how DHS ensures compliance with chemical facilities security standards

  • Inmarsat responds: We do not sell telecommunications services to any Iranian entity

    Shurat Hadin, a Tel Aviv-based law firm specializing in litigation against terror sponsors, claims mobile satellite company Inmarsat PLC provides prohibited guidance services to Iranian oil tankers and Iranian military vessels; Inmarsat says these claims are wrong: the company says it seeks to comply with all applicable sanctions laws and regulations, and that Inmarsat does not sell telecommunications services to any Iranian entity, or to any entity on the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control list of Specially Designated Nationals